Toledo rolls past Norfolk State behind two blocked-punt TDs

September 5, 2021 GMT

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) —

Toledo returned two blocked punts for touchdowns and the Rockets breezed to a 49-10 victory over FCS-member Norfolk State in a season opener on Saturday.

Toledo led 7-0 with 6:50 left in the first quarter when DeMeer Blankumsee blocked a Ryan Richter punt that was scooped up by Maxen Hook and returned 25 yards for a TD. The Spartans answered with a nine-play 75-yard drive that culminated with Juwan Carter’s 47-yard scoring strike to Justin Smith to make it 14-7. But lightning struck again when Maxen blocked a punt that was scooped up by Justin Clark and returned 13 yards for a score. Dequan Finn added a 24-yard TD run with 27 seconds left before halftime to make it 28-7.

Carter Bradley completed 8 of 11 passes for 183 yards and a TD — an 84-yard strike to Devin Maddox — for the Rockets. Finn finished with 82 yards on nine carries. Bryant Koback ran nine times for 52 yards and two scores.

Carter completed 8 of 18 passes for 125 yards with an interception for the Spartans.

Toledo piled up 441 yards of offense and held Norfolk State to 272. The Rockets were penalized 12 times for 140 yards.